A U.S government watchdog will investigate Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg for the taxpayer-funded flights he took on government airplanes for private trips.
18 flights taken by Buttigieg on Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) planes will now be reviewed by the Transportation Department Office of Inspector General
“Glad this will be reviewed independently so misleading narratives can be put to rest,” Buttigieg wrote on Twitter after news broke the watchdog will investigate his flights.
“Bottom line: I mostly fly on commercial flights, in economy class. And when I do use our agency’s aircraft, it’s usually a situation where doing so saves taxpayer money.”
As Politico reported:
DOT said in December that the 18 flights Fox News highlighted — to destinations that included Las Vegas, Montreal and Oklahoma — cost taxpayers just under $42,000.
The audit was originally requested by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) who has since called for Buttigieg’s resignation over his handling of the train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio.
Any government official can use the fleet, if they can demonstrate to the satisfaction of the agency’s ethics department that the flights will be more cost-effective than flying commercial, or for security or scheduling reasons.
FEMA officials and National Transportation Safety Board accident investigators are typically frequent users of the planes, and it is not unusual for top DOT and FAA officials, as well as the heads of other agencies, to use them when warranted.
This story is developing…
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